“I don’t know that it’ll happen because Gerald Thomas, the director, is dead and so is the producer” said Clary. “I think they’re of their time and it would be hard to get back to that without it looking too retro for its own good.”
“How can you do Carry On films without Charles Hawtrey, Kenneth Williams and Hattie Jacques? It just doesn’t seem right to me.”
Clary sees a far brighter future for his newest creation, The Bolds, though. He’s dipped his toe in the literary pond, penning the first in a series of stories about a furry family of hyenas living undercover in the village of Teddington.
Mr and Mrs Bold have managed to keep their identities a secret, securing jobs and even having two children, Bobby and Betty, without revealing their big secret but when their nosy neighbour gets suspicious and they stage a rescue mission at their local wildlife park, things get a little more complicated.
Clary has enjoyed taking on a new challenge, and will bring The Bolds to the Radio Times Festival later this month. He’ll be joined by illustrator David Roberts, who’ll be drawing scenes from the book while Clary reads to the children.
“I get a thrill out of making children laugh” says Clary, who reveals that he’s really enjoyed the process of bringing The Bolds to life.
“From my point of view the whole thing is very liberating because I can get away from the usual sort of nonsense that people might associate me with.”
How does he ensure that adult-centric comedy doesn’t creep into the tales then? “Just by becoming a child myself to write it” he says. “I sort of wrote it for my inner child. You are aware that adults are still reading the book to children so there is the odd sort of twinkle in the eye.”
He’s obviously doing something right because second tale is already on its way to bookshops and he shows no sign of stopping there either. “There is another Bolds book coming out in February called The Bolds to the Rescue that’s already written” Clary explains, “and they’ve asked for a third. There’s no reason why they can’t go on and on.”
And so we can’t help asking the comedian, who has a winter of pantomime and a live tour next year, what’s the boldest thing he’s ever done?
“I’ve done lots of bold things in my life, I’m really quite fearless” he chuckles before coming to one conclusion: “Walk on stage wearing black rubber and a face full of make-up. I don’t know what I was thinking.”